All About College Scholarships for African Americans

By Joseph King , last updated November 10, 2011

There are a number of scholarships available to African American students looking to pursue a college degree. These scholarships can range from awards of a few hundred dollars to full scholarships worth tens of thousands of dollars. These scholarships are designed to increase the population of African Americans in college to a level comparable to the general population.

When starting out on the search for scholarships for African American students, some of the best places to look are organizations designed to support African Americans, such as the NAACP. The NAACP offers a number of scholarships designed to reward outstanding students who need help paying for college. The United Negro College Fund is another such organization that provides scholarships to worthy candidates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also offers the Gates Scholarships, which is a full tuition scholarship awarded to minority students. This scholarship has extremely selective criteria, and is designed to give tomorrow’s leaders of America the chance to attend school when they otherwise might not have been able to do so.

Many scholarships for African American students take a number of other factors into account besides scholastic achievement and racial makeup. Since one of the main reasons African Americans are underrepresented on college campuses is that they often come from poor families and are unable to afford college, many scholarships focus specifically on students with a large amount of financial need. Similarly, being the first in your family to attend college is also often a major factor in your favor for scholarships aimed at African Americans. Other scholarships are designed to increase the number of African Americans or African American women in a particular field. For example, there are many scholarships for African American women ( and engineers( , or African Americans who wish pursue a career as a doctor or other specialty within the field of medicine (

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